GrabJobs, a Singapore-based job portal focused on frontline workers, is the first of Southeast Asian job startups to expand globally.
While SEA is home to very successful job tech companies such as JobsDB, Jobstreet and JobsCentral, these haven’t expanded outside Asia.
The closest similar business to have expanded globally would be Carousell which runs a classified marketplace in 9 countries.
It’s a very positive signal for the SEA startup ecosystem to see homegrown companies expand beyond the region and take a shot at the global market.
Isn’t the job board market already saturated?
The global job market may appear saturated but Emmanuel Crouy, co-founder and CEO of GrabJobs, explains that GrabJobs’ differentiator has been to focus on pink and blue collar workforce, otherwise known as frontline workers.
“While the white collar job market is saturated, the pink and blue collar markets are underserved” says Emmanuel.
As a further differentiator, GrabJobs was the first job site to introduce, in 2017, a chatbot that automatically screens applicants and creates their career profiles on the fly.
“Most frontline workers don’t use CVs. Their preferred method of communication is chat. It made sense to replace CVs with engaging chat conversations. Thanks to chat, employers are able to hire applicants fast, often within the same day” says Emmanuel.
Why the global expansion, and why now?
GrabJobs was not immune to the Covid-19 crisis and saw an initial drop in business during the lockdown period, however they used that time to experiment and reengineer. Emmanuel claims their success comes thanks to a “scalable and automated sales process that enables us to acquire clients and job seekers fast at a low cost.”
When asked about their decision to go global versus remaining in South East Asia, Emmanuel explains that “As our model is scalable, we are not constrained by borders. We experimented in multiple abroad markets throughout Q2 and Q3 with positive results. As of Q4 we decided to open the 24 markets in which we saw the best results”.
Will GrabJobs fundraise in 2021?
When asked whether GrabJobs would be looking to raise funds in 2021 to fuel growth, Emmanuel responded “We’ve been profitable since May and steadily increasing our profit margin every month. We’ve reached a point at which our profits are sufficient to fuel our current global ambitions without external funding”.
Job boards are a social enterprise
GrabJobs’ social aspiration is to become the #1 global job site for frontline workers. “Job losses have escalated during the Covid-19 crisis and we want to help connect job seekers with jobs as fast as possible to improve livelihoods” claims Emmanuel.
Can a SEA homegrown job board be able to compete with established global players such as Indeed and Monster? We’ll continue to keep our eyes on GrabJobs and wish them the best for their global ambitions!
(Syndicated press content is neither written, edited or endorsed by ED Times)